Sometimes our life purpose finds us when we aren’t looking for it.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a special dog as a part of my family. Each wet nose, warm pair of eyes and wiggly tail chewing out their own special place in my heart. Growing up we spent a lot of time together as a family camping all over the US…and so my two passions took root at an early age…dogs and the great outdoors. I’m a fine art landscape photographer by trade. There is something magical and intoxicating about capturing a naturally beautiful moment which will never be seen in that exact way again. It’s kind of like capturing a snowflake but better because it never melts. Let me tell you, it’s an addiction. But I digress…you’re here to read about dogs!
My Dad & me in Yosemite with our first pup Schultzy.
Our delightful dalmatian Pepper out on the boat with Dad & Kyle.
Tyler, he was the first baby I had when out on my own.
Jack the wire hair terrier, my parent’s dog, was a character!
Presley was a chocolate lab and the sweetest fur baby to ever walk the planet.
Raider, my son Cody’s dog, opened my eyes to the wonderful world of pit bulls.
When Jack passed away my mom wanted a rescue. She had not only lost Jack but also my dad who had recently passed. When we found out Max was at the shelter because his owner had died we knew it was meant to be! He’s the perfect companion for her.
All of which brings me to our adventure with Chance! Our cherished boy Presley passed and we knew it was time to bring another pup into the family. We’d had such an amazing experience with Max integrating into the family. He seemed know know that we had rescued him and was so grateful to have a new family. I’d been toying with the idea of a French Bulldog. I could see it sitting with me in the gallery and greeting clients that came in each day, but the powerful though of the difference my mom had made in Max’s life keep coming forward in my mind. I started trolling the local shelter websites looking for a new companion and one bright Saturday morning the kids and I jumped in the car and went looking for our newest baby. After looking all day with several close calls we found Chance, a two year old male pit bull who had been at the shelter for months. He’d been abandoned by his owner and wore some battle scars, including a plastic BB imbedded in his chest. He had several rotted teeth that had been surgically removed thanks to a wonderful agency that helps take care of shelter pet’s medical needs. He’d clearly had a rough life and yet he was still the sweetest boy and was a favorite with all the volunteers. For me, it was love at first sight. For him, I don’t think he was so sure, until later that evening when he climbed onto the couch with me and came in for his first snuggle. From that point on we were soulmates.
Chance began traveling with me on photoshoots. First to Lake Tahoe and then to Big Sur. It was so much fun to see him experience these amazing places. It struck me that it may be the first time in life he got to chase a ball on the beach or frolic in the snow. It was such a privilege to see and feel his joy and I wanted to share it with my friends. I started pointing my lens at him instead of the vast scenery I was there to capture for my day job. And then…a funny thing happened. The pictures I posted to social media got such an amazing response. People not only loved them but they connected with them on a personal level. The pictures were different than most pet pics because I had taken them while out and about on landscape photoshoots. The environment really emphasized Chance’s joyful exuberance. It clicked. I wanted to do this for other people and their dogs. And so began our next adventure, marrying my two photographic passions, the great outdoors and K9 companions. This is DoggieTales Pho(dog)raphy.